October 16, 2019: EU continues to delude itself

Readers of the Jerusalem Post have their say.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
Letters
(photo credit: REUTERS)
EU continues to delude itself

“New EU Foreign Envoy: It’s not antisemitic to favor a two-state solution” (Jpost.com, October 9) quotes incoming European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell as saying that the EU contributes “around a million euros a day” to the PA with an eye to creation of “a Palestinian state that can coexist peacefully with an Israeli state.”
As Shakespeare said, “and there lies the rub.” Are they contributing to a peaceful coexistence or funding terrorism against the state of Israel? Are they teaching coexistence or guerrilla warfare? Are they supporting the ordinary Palestinians or lining the pockets of corrupt despots?
Indications are that the Europeans have no idea about what is being done with their hundreds of millions of euros, but are deluding themselves that they are supporting “peaceful coexistence.”
FREYA BINENFELD
Petah Tikva


Pervasive Islamic antisemitism

“Is Antisemitism a Psychological Disease?” (JPost.com, October 12) ignores the 1,400 year phenomenon of Islamic antisemitism.
Antisemitism is foundational to the Koran. On three occasions, Jews are declared pigs and monkeys. Muslims are warned never to be friends with Jews. Most importantly, the first Holocaust occurred at Medina in 627 when Muhammad personally decapitated 600 to 900 unarmed Jewish men and kidnapped and sexually enslaved 1,000 Jewish girls and women.
Muslims are taught that everything Muhammad did is perfect and to be revered and emulated, including his sociopathic actions in Medina. Islamic antisemitism has resulted in the murder of many thousands of Jews since 627 including 26,000 in Israel and its environs since November 30, 1947 when the Grand Mufti Amin al-Husseini commanded the Palestinian Arabs and their allies, “Murder the Jews. Murder all of them.”
To focus on post-1945 German guilt when discussing antisemitism ignores the actual murderous impact of Islamic antisemitism on the Jewish population across the globe – including since 1945.
RICHARD SHERMAN
Margate, Florida
Keeping the Kotel in perspective

The editorial “A Timely Celebration” (October 13) says “...thousands flock to the Western Wall, the only remnant of the Temple.”
Come on. The Western Wall is no more a remnant of the Temple than the southern Wall or any part of the retaining walls of the Temple Mount. People flock there because we have made it a holy site due to lack of ability to pray on the Temple Mount itself, which is not only no less of a remnant of the Temple than the Western Wall but is far more significant and holy.
Don’t get me wrong. Thousands of Jews praying together is wonderful wherever it is. But I expect better textual accuracy, especially as it relates to the centrality and architecture of the Temple and its destruction and remains.
JONATHAN FELDSTEIN
Efrat
Cool it a bit

Kudos and thunderous applause for Liat Collins’s criticism (“Going green and ancient prayers” (October 11) of the extreme emotionalism and fears in the 16-year-old Swedish activist presentations of climate change (mass extinction, global collapse, literally the end of the world). Liat also mentions that environmentalism is not new. As it is written in Ecclesiastes Rabbah 7:13 “Beware lest you spoil and destroy my world... there is no one to repair it.”
So even some 5,000 or so years ago – without global warming, climate change and disgusting consumerism – pundits and journalists were worried about the coming apocalypse. My take is that the world is protected by a vast array of feedback mechanisms about which we know little or nothing. Change will happen, but it always happens. Some will suffer, others will benefit. The world is a dynamic place – it isn’t and never was in a stable equilibrium. Let’s all practice a pragmatic and sane environmentalism but avoid mass hysteria and doomsday predictions. Let’s relax a bit.
YIGAL HOROWITZ
Emeritus Professor of Radiation Physics
Beersheba
Why honor a bitter enemy?

The 102nd anniversary of the ANZAC liberation of Beersheba from the Turks will be commemorated at the end of October. In the Grapevine article (October 11), we learn that under the initiative of Yaacov Turner, a former mayor of Beersheba, a monument was constructed for the Turkish soldiers who were killed in the battles. The monument was conceived when Turkey was a friend and ally of Israel – and not led by the Jew-hating, Israel bashing demagogue, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Isn’t it time to destroy the monument, or at least remove it and store it in the hope for better times in our relationship with Turkey? Is there another example in the world where a monument is standing for the soldiers of a country led by a bitter enemy?
SHALOM GUREVICH
Beersheba
Airing our anger

In “Etiquette and the lack of civility” (October 12), Mark Feldman goes into a long harangue on bad behavior in air travel, especially among Israelis, such as standing up in the aisles, sneaking into business class, refusing to sit next to a woman, making one’s own tea instead of ordering tea, cursing airline attendants, imbibing too much alcohol. All true – and all bad behavior is to be vigorously criticized.
But let’s face it. Air travel has become a terrible mess. The endless waits in the terminal, in the passport control, the cramped seats with no elbow or leg room – it’s torture. The teeny toilet closets, navigating the narrow aisles to stow the overhead luggage... it’s enough to turn the most meek into a raging menace.
Even business class (my choice on flights longer than a few hours) on some carriers is beginning to look more and more like a slightly upgraded tourist class. You get home and you promise yourself never to fly again, but after a few months you forget your promise.
Israeli’s have to travel by air – Israel is the only country in the world (except for island countries like New Zealand) where it is almost impossible to exit the country by car (except for the very adventurous), surrounded at worst by enemy countries, at best by vaguely friendly but still dangerous countries. Maybe the fact that we are forced to fly is part of the reason behind the aggressiveness and lack of civility.
DIMA OSTER
Jerusalem
Stabbing friends in the back

Regarding “Trump gives green light to Turkey to take over Syria” (October 8), as an Israeli/Brit, my previous respect for US President Donald Trump has lessened.
Writing as an Israeli, Trump’s decision to withdraw from Syria and allow the Turks to continue attempting to eliminate the Kurds makes me ask how Israel can trust a country that stabs its Kurdish ally in the back?
As a Brit, I’m even more concerned by something, which although trivial by comparison with the above, raises questions about trusting one’s oldest ally. Recently a young British man was killed when he was involved in an accident with the wife of an American Intelligence officer serving in Britain. Rather than face trial, she was given diplomatic immunity and flown to the US, where the president, on TV, supported this insult to Britain, refusing to return her, claiming that it is difficult to drive on the wrong side of the road (as do more than a third of the world’s drivers).
To misquote Oscar Wilde, to stab one friend in the back may be regarded as a mistake, to stab two friends in the back looks deliberately immoral.
BOB KNIGHT
Modi’in
So much for dependability. This unbelievable act of betrayal should make Israel think very carefully about its so-called great friendship with Trump. While I agree that every country must think first of their own people – which is something Israel unfortunately lacks the faith and courage to do – America, which looks upon itself as a great asset to humankind, has just proved to be the opposite with this action.
The Kurds were instrumental in the removal of ISIS at a massive loss of their people and are now abandoned like a commodity no longer needed, having served its purpose. Fortunately, Trump’s own supporters have come out against this action and will hopefully stop Turkey. Trump, taken aback by the force of opposition, meaning he consults no one before he does anything and just fires those who don’t agree with him, tweeted, “If Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the economy of Turkey I have done before.”
Wow, we need to look more closely at who we call friend. We must never outsource our defense and it is vital to cut this dangerous umbilical cord with America before this president, comes out with his “Deal of the Century” – a deal with terrorists over the Jewish land that was returned to us by God.

EDITH OGNALL
Netanya

If US President Donald Trump knew more about history, he would realize that economic sanctions seldom work. In support of a patriotic cause, populations are willing to endure the most drastic deprivations.
Sanctions against Iran don’t seem to be having the desired effect; neither will they work against Turkey.
Trump says he is not interested in the Middle East, but that does not mean that the Middle East is not interested in him. To eliminate the country the Iranians call the Great Satan, Iran is working to perfect weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them.
The Iranians are not joking and the Americans, together with others, should listen to them or bear the consequences.
OSCAR DAVIES
Jerusalem
Before he became president, Trump said he would get the US out of the Middle East, and he always strives to keep his promises. I have always said that no matter who the president is, the USA always comes first.
For the US, oil was the primary concern, but since they are now independent from imported oil, it is getting less and less relevant to defend countries like Iran and people like the Kurds.
The Kurds have been unfortunate since the end of WW1. They should have had an independent country then, but the world powers Britain and France divided the Ottoman Empire between them and the USA was only interested in oil. This betrayal of the Kurds now gives Iran, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas and the other Jihadists in Gaza and even the PLO in Judea and Shomron (West Bank) reason to think that the timing may be right to attack Israel, together or separately, which would be a very big mistake – just look at our history since 1948. We have never wanted soldiers from foreign countries to fight for us, (except Jewish volunteers in Mahal) – only military hardware from bullets all the way up to fighter jets.
Since Trump has made his decision to leave the Middle East, including allies who fought for and with the USA, all those who thought the US had their back (and it goes back to president Barack Obama’s days) have now to rethink their positions militarily, political, and economically.
MURRAY JOSEPH
Kiryat Motzkin
Regarding “Caving to BDS” (October 6), this is what I tweeted to Demi Lovato, who under BDS pressure, posted an apology for having visited Israel:
“Hey Demi... actually, you do need to read more about the history of this land because it is called Israel for a reason. All available archaeological, cultural, linguistic and historical evidence going back 3,000 years confirms a Jewish presence predating the Muslim invasions from the 7th century onward. The magical feeling you felt is because you were re-connecting to your Christian heritage!”

KIM EZRA SHIENBAUM, PH.D
Emeritus Professor of Political Science, Rutgers Camden


Tripping on tropes

Reader James Adler (“Trump tropes,” Letters, October 7) accuses US President Donald Trump of using a “possibly antisemitic trope” by nicknaming Representative Adam Schiff “Shifty Schiff.”
Only in his final paragraph does Adler admit that he doesn’t think that Trump is an antisemite, but the damage is done. Trump is tarred with using antisemitic language because of the “fringe far- and alt-right atmosphere he inhales every day.” (Adler conveniently ignores the dangerous antisemitism that is ever more apparent in American academia and is openly voiced by far-left members of Congress such as Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib.)
One of the core tests of antisemitism is the application of a double standard. Trump is an equal opportunity offender. He is well known for inventing demeaning nicknames for his opponents without regard to race, gender, religion or political affiliation. Keep in mind also that Trump’s family ties make him closer to the Jewish people than any other president, and he has proven to be the most pro-Israel president in history.
We must never let down our guard against real antisemitism. But we must not reflexively complain of antisemitism where none exists, lest we find that we have cried wolf too often when real antisemitism actually rears its ugly head.
Schiff has led the charge to impeach Trump, asserting repeatedly that he had evidence of Trump’s collusion with Russia (evidence that he tellingly never produced when the Mueller investigation failed to turn up any hint of collusion). Now he is heading the investigation of Trump’s interaction with Ukrainian president Zelensky, misstating critical evidence while hiding his own possible collusion with the leaker who started this latest probe.
No Jew should be attacked because of his religion; neither is anyone automatically immune from criticism because he is Jewish. Schiff is fair game as the result of his ongoing, and so far baseless, attempts to remove the duly elected president from office by any means possible.

EFRAIM A. COHEN
Zichron Yaakov
Apology

Due to a computer error, the clues for the Family Time Crossword in Sunday’s (October 13) paper were incorrect; the crossword grid in Friday’s Magazine was also incorrect. We apologize for the errors.